Want to be a better sight reader?
Monday, August 7, 2017 by Sharon Hale | Sight Reading
Sight Reading Tips
- Set and feel a steady pulse at an appropriate tempo. Musical pulse is like a heart-beat pulse: it might change speed, but it (hopefully) never stops! Same goes for sight reading…
- Get a feel for the rhythm and hum through the melody to get a sense of how it should sound in your head.
- Check the key. Think of the piece in terms of chords – think Circle of 5ths (and the chords surrounding the current key on the Circle – the song will contain some or all of these chords)
- Work out the highest and lowest notes and, if possible, place hands in a suitable position, including fingers over sharps and flats. Work out if the hands need to change to a different position and how to get there.
- Learn the first and last two bars of any sight reading piece perfectly. This ensures a strong start and finish.
- Decide from the beginning which hand is more important to the feel of the piece and therefore which hand must keep playing even if they can’t play both together in the middle of the piece.
- Look for intervals, chord shapes, broken chords, arpeggios, scale passages, sequences, etc. that are easy to play and will help keep the sense of pulse steady.
Courtesy of Tim Topham